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30 Jul 2021

Jasper Jolly, The Guardian

Deliveroo will stop operations in Spain following govt. adoption of 'rider law'

"Deliveroo unveils plans to pull out of Spain in wake of ‘rider law’", 30 July 2021

...Deliveroo, which is headquartered and listed in London, said remaining in Spain would require too much investment compared with its other markets, given the scale of its operations in the country.

The takeaway app company blamed its relatively small market share, saying that “achieving and sustaining a top-tier market position in Spain would require a disproportionate level of investment with highly uncertain long-term potential returns that could impact the economic viability of the market for the company”.

A spokesman for Deliveroo said Spain’s employment rights law was not the determining factor, but added that it had resulted in an earlier withdrawal from the country.

The Spanish government announced plans in March to legislate to give workers at food delivery companies and other online platforms more employment rights after a landmark legal ruling, as the first EU country to do so.

Known as the “rider law”, the changes will mean a worker is presumed to be an employee rather than self-employed contractor. The changes will also force food digital platforms to inform delivery riders about how computer algorithms and artificial intelligence affect their working conditions...

...Although the company did not explicitly mention the Madrid government’s changes as it announced the move on Friday, the Spanish reforms have been seen as a direct challenge to the business models of companies such as Deliveroo, which rely on farming out delivery jobs to workers who are classified as independent contractors...